Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 30, 2006

From: Goldsboro, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting an immature Sweet Bay Magnolia
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Pants: I just found what I think is a Magnolia Sweet Bay growing wild next to an oak and a pine tree in my back wooded yard. It has blooms on it and is about 2 feet tall. There are two of them next to each other. In your opinion, how do you think it would do if I replanted it to my front yard (no other tree next to it). I live in Raleigh area, NC. How should I replant it and how should I care for it?

ANSWER:

Though an adult Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) might be risky to move, one that's only two feet tall should present few problems. Transplanting should be done in the fall, but you should root prune now by digging down in a circle around the tree to just beyond the extent of the leaves in order to sever the more far-flung roots and circumscribe your root ball. Transplanting should be done in the morning before high temperatures have stressed the plant, and the leaves should be pruned back by half to reduce transpiration. Make sure and have the new hole dug before you remove the tree from its old hole, so that the roots aren't exposed to the air too long. Until it becomes established, regular watering will be required, but such a young plant should adjust easily to its new site with little additional care, provided it's in appropriate soil. See our Growing Conditions page for more information.

 

More Transplants Questions

Transplant shock in American beautyberry in Birmingham AL
July 13, 2010 - We created a new garden area in our yard that gets full sun in the afternoon. I had a Beautyberry Bush that had seriously outgrown the area where we originally planted it (also full sun), so I transp...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Liatris spicata
May 25, 2008 - I bought a liatris spicata start a month ago, and transplanted it into my front yard (full sun, clay soil, moist due to all the rain recently). The plant immediately wilted so I transplanted it in ...
view the full question and answer

Root rot and transplant shock in Texas betony
July 13, 2006 - Texas betony is supposed to be drought resistant but also likes to be kept moist, but I have had trouble getting it established. These seem to be undemanding plants I have had entire stems dry up and...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wildflowers slated for destruction in Buda, TX.
June 16, 2015 - TXDOT has recently informed our church that they will be taking a sizeable amount of natural area fronting a ranch road for lane expansion. We are devastated to lose an are we have planted and nurtur...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.